The Biden administration rejects “maximum pressure” diplomacy with Iran


Iranian officials have called for an end to the economic sanctions imposed by former President Donald Trump on their country. His move was widely seen as a violation of the terms of an agreement that UN inspectors say is working to maintain restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program. Out of anger at the sanctions, Iran has begun enriching uranium to levels higher than the agreement allows. Meanwhile, regime hardliners view the new diplomacy with the United States as a dead end. On Tuesday, a law barring UN inspectors from entering Iranian nuclear sites was supposed to go into effect – a move that is sure to increase tensions with the West. But the weekend of shuttle diplomacy by the head of the United Nations atomic agency He seems to have created a breathing room.

Under the ambiguous terms of the deal announced on Sunday, Iran will continue to terminate the implementation of what is known as the Additional Protocol, which imposes monitoring by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), but will continue to allow what Rafael Grossi, head of the agency, has said, called for The necessary monitoring and verification of the “Iranian nuclear program”, Explained by my colleague Karim Fahim.

“The hope of the International Atomic Energy Agency was to be able to stabilize a situation that was very unstable and I think this technical understanding does so, so that other political consultations can take place at other levels,” Grossi told reporters in Vienna.

These consultations are now underway. Last week, the Biden administration effectively halted the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign Which indicates its readiness To enter informal talks on Iran with European allies. It would be the start of a delicate diplomatic dance that would design a dance for Iran to curtail some of its nuclear activities along with sanctions relief. There is no clear timeline for any of this, but a path to reconciliation has opened.

The Biden administration has already made small technical moves at the United Nations to help reset the table. They lifted the restrictions on Iranian diplomats in New York and Cancel the Trump administration’s confirmation of 2020 – It was rejected until then by the European allies of the United States – that all UN sanctions against Iran were in effect. Glimpses of thawing ice can be seen in South Korea’s decision on Monday Freeze a large amount of Iranian money Blocked in its banks due to US financial sanctions.

However, there is a lot of opposition in both Washington and Tehran. Iran’s parliament condemned on Monday after Grossi’s departure the new deal with the International Atomic Energy Agency. Parliament Speaker even He called for the trial of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani And his allies, whom he described as “opponents and opponents.”

Biden’s domestic opponents view the current course as a misguided ceding influence over the Iranian regime. The ayatollah only understands strength. It led in response to the Iranian threat that protected the American people from its terror and supported the Jewish state of Israel, “former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Washington’s free far-right beacon Thursday. “Adopting the European Union’s model of adaptation would secure Iran a path to a nuclear arsenal.

“The paradox of the situation is that we have almost a mirror image in Tehran and Washington,” said Ali Wazih, director of the Iran Project at the International Crisis Group, during a press call on Monday hosted by the European Leadership Network. “You have two governments that would have loved to take back [nuclear deal] The status quo with one click if they can, but they have to deal with the parliamentary opposition that reflects broader political resistance to the deal. “

The Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign may have caused huge economic losses. But the reimposition of US sanctions failed to achieve many of Pompeo and Trump’s stated goals: It did Tehran’s proxies in the Middle East They were hardly deterred from carrying out hostilities In the region; The United States and its partners are not looking to extract greater concessions from the regime than were achieved in 2015; Iran is theoretically closer to pushing for a nuclear weapon than it was before Trump took office.

“Leverage only makes sense if you use it at the right time and for Washington at the moment, the leverage is somewhat depleted,” Elle Germanmaye of the European Council on Foreign Relations told Today’s WorldView during the same call. It was able to “re-equip” its economy under sanctions and “insulate itself from economic collapse, as the supporters of maximum pressure had hoped.”

Fayez told WorldView today that the leverage that Biden wields is “not in the form of Trump’s sanctions,” but rather “the now demonstrated ability of the United States to turn on and off the switch on its own to have a significant impact on the Iranian economy. This leverage will be in place a year from now or after. Two years from now, whenever the need arises. “

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